Period 6, IDP
Safety? Or The Impractical Moral Of A Group?
Abortion is a common procedure our time. It is the expulsion of a fetus from the body. It is often an action in cases of unwanted children, accidental pregnancies, teen pregnancies, rape, and incest to relieve a person of something they do not feel fit to handle. However it takes a vicious turn among those who believe a fetus is life, and abortion is the murder of a recipient who has no say on the matter. However, even with a sound argument of abortion as murder, abortion is never going to stop. It has existed for thousands of years and will not ever disappear. Although the access to receive an abortion is affected by moral belief, legislation, and location, it should not be.
Abortion is a vast topic. According to the dictionary, it is “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as a : spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation b : induced expulsion of a human fetus.” This definition opens the door to its meaning and introduces its controversial nature. It shows that an abortion is the removal of the process in which a human is created and brings thoughts upon what it is to be human, what a fetus is, and is an abortion the death of a human being.
According to the medical dictionary, “The term abortion is more commonly used as a synonym for induced abortion, the deliberate interruption of pregnancy, as opposed to miscarriage, which connotes a spontaneous or natural loss of the fetus.” This further complicates matters of abortion shows that abortion is most commonly the choice of the mother to terminate their pregnancy. This calls into question if an abortion is the murder of human being.
In consideration to these ideas, abortion becomes an extremely difficult topic to express and decide upon. However, due to its problematic nature, the question appears; is the topic even something that should be decided upon? Laws in the US were made to protect its citizens, and in consideration that abortions will always appear, is it right to have a law against them?
Statistics show that the rate of abortions are similar to what they are today, even while they were considered illegal. The estimated number of illegal abortions in the United States between the 1950s and 1960s ranged from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. These numbers are similar to what they are currently for the past 10 years, maybe even more than the number of legal abortions per year after the legalization of abortion. There were around 1.2 million abortions in 2005, decreasing to around 906,000 in 2015 according to abort73, even though our population has increased by over double its size from 1950 (from around 150 million people to 318 million people). Furthermore, abortion restrictions do not seem to affect the rate of abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, places where abortions were legal versus places that they were illegal had nearly an identical rate of abortion. This shows that laws against abortions did not stop the procedure and it will continue to happen, making it illogical to create laws against it (similar to probation).
Additionally, before Roe vs. Wade, as many as 5,000 American women died every year as a direct result of unsafe abortions. This was a tremendous tragedy. Since abortion was illegal, the methods used were often ineffective and dangerous. Many women were “driven into the back alley” to receive an abortion where they sometimes went through danger and abuse, even sexual. According to a physician, “toxic solutions were squirted into the uterus, such as soap and turpentine, often causing kidney failure and death.” Abortions before its legalization were often quite dangerous. The physician also stated that, “A dietitian in a nearby city had inserted the catheter through her cervix to induce an abortion.” almost causing the death of the patient, and that “Physicians younger than me [after the legalization of abortions] have not encountered these tragedies.” This indicates that many people were desperate for an abortion and would seek unsafe abortions causing several tragic incidents. The physician further stated “I’m telling you, it was really an awful situation. It touched me because I’d see young, [otherwise] healthy women in their 20s die from the consequences of an infected non sterile abortion. Women would do anything to get rid of unwanted pregnancies. They’d risk their lives. It was a different world, I’ll tell you.” Additionally, at Bellevue Hospital in New York City from 1940-1954, more than 7,000 cases of incomplete or unsafe abortions were treated, and a third were contracted infections. It shows that abortions had caused huge medical problems because they were not safe before its legalization. It is paramount that abortion stay legal so that unsafe abortions like these will not reoccur.
Although abortion was considered illegal, studies found that access to safe, hospital abortions correlated to the economic status and race of the person. In New York City, the abortion ratio in municipal hospitals caring for the poor was 1 per 1,000 births; the ratio was six times higher in private hospitals. Obviously safe abortions could be found, but only by the wealthy. Access to safe abortions were also racist. In 1960-62, abortion ratios for Puerto Rican women were 0.1 per 1,000 births, 0.5 for African-American women, and 2.6 for white women. These statistics show that women that had the money could find a physician to help with a safe abortion, while the poor were forced into unsafe abortions when they required one.
Abortion will always exist. Due to the consistent rate of its appearance in all places restricting it will only cause problems through unsafe abortions. Laws should protect people from injury of their common decisions, and not force the poor into bad situations where injury is probable. Additionally, a law that can not be enforced is not a law at all, especially since it is likely that abortion restrictions would probably delve into discriminatory punishments. Due to this, abortion should be extracted from issues of morality and ideals, and be considered logically as something that will always exist amongst humans. Following this, we should protect those who make the choice to have an abortion from unsafe circumstances, and ensure that maternal deaths and injury will not occur.